Bintou & Issa: launch of a children book series on the memory of slavery

Bound to the duty to honor the memory of slavery and the slave trade, and to keep this history alive by sharing it with the next generation, UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Programme is launching a children book series in partnership with “Langages du Sud”, a publishing and production company based in Casablanca (Morocco).

To deconstruct the poison of racism, the issue of the transmission to the younger generation is key. Youth need to understand that racism started with slavery and that enslaved people, despite incredibly difficult conditions, were able to resist culturally and physically to claim their dignity as human beings. With this series of publication, we want to create a new narrative for the new generation to liberate themselves from the prejudicial constructions of the past.
Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO

Through the experiences of Bintou & Issa, this collection seeks to develop the social and emotional sense of values to children aged 5 to 9, such as learning to peacefully cohabitate, the respect for social and cultural differences and the fight against all kinds of discrimination, including those based on gender.

The history of slavery and the slave trade will be explained to children through simple and playful narratives. The illustrated books will highlight resistance, historical figures, places of memory, cultural and technical cultural heritage as well as the important role played by women. The connection between the slave trade and the widespread discrimination and racism that characterize today’s society will also be carefully explained.

The “Bintou & Issa collection” is part of UNESCO’s overall work to fight racism and discrimination along with the Global Call against Racism, and of the Slave Route: Resistance, Liberty and Heritage project.